It turns out that anti-choice crusaders are incorrect in yet another dubious claim about the facts of women's reproductive health, as a study published by the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology has found that looking at ultrasound images does not, in fact cast a magic spell on women that transforms them from bloodthirsty baby-killers into pristine and righteous Christian mothers. From Slate:
This latest study is much larger. Researchers analyzed 15,575 medical records from an urban abortion care provider in Los Angeles. Each patient seeking an abortion was asked how she felt about her choice: Those who made "clear and confident" replies were rated as having "high decision certainty," while those who seemed sad, angry or ambivalent were said to show "medium" or "low" decision certainty. (Only 7.4 percent of the women fell into the latter categories.) Patients underwent ultrasounds as part of the standard procedure, and 42.5 percent of them opted to see the images. Of those, 98.4 percent terminated their pregnancies; 99 percent of the women who did not look at the photographs ended their pregnancies. But here's the thing: The women who viewed the sonograms and then backed out were all part of that 7.4 percent of women with low or medium decision certainty. Women who knew abortion was the right decision for them continued with the procedure whether they were shown the images or not.
Obviously, no hardcore anti-choice advocate is going to be swayed by this study. After all, the study was conducted at an urban care provider, in decadent Los Angeles of all places. I'm sure this will just be taken as another sign of the moral decrepitude of non-wealthy, non-WASPy America.